New NEPA Regulations Are a Roadblock to Community Involvement

The Trump Administration issued a new rule in July that will sharply limit community participation in the environmental decision-making process on projects subject to review under the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA). While these new regulations modernize and streamline the NEPA review process in some welcome respects, they also narrow the scope of NEPA reviews–exempting pipelines, large-scale logging operations, waste incinerators, highways, and other federal actions from NEPA review entirely. The regulations, which became effective in September 2020, also redefine certain review parameters that significantly limit or eliminate community involvement.

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The Case for Green Infrastructure

Water infrastructure encompasses the systems and facilities that service, store, and transport drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater. This infrastructure is of vital importance to public health, the economy, and our environment, and requires perpetual investment and innovative problem-solving. In the U.S., water utilities distribute 39 billion gallons of potable water and treat approximately 32 billion gallons of wastewater daily. This is made possible by millions of miles of pipes and other water infrastructure, much of which is underground, aging, and expensive to replace.

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